Port Washington, N.Y. - Screen size and picture quality are the two most important considerations among prospective TV buyers, according to market research companyThe NPD Group's2009 TV Inventory Study.
According to the findings of the online study, which polled more than 3,000 consumers from an NPD panel, one in four consumers will most likely be making a new TV purchase in the next six months.
Among those who said they would be making a purchase, screen size was cited by 77 percent as being extremely or very important.
The average screen size being considered by consumers is 40 inches, but one in four consumers are considering a TV 50 inches or larger.
Higher resolution was the second most important feature, with 71 percent of consumers citing it as extremely or very important.
"Demand for digital television remains strong months after the end of analog broadcasting," stated Ross Rubin, NPD industry analysis director. "Consumers are taking advantage of greater affordability and buying more TVs with smaller screen sizes. However, many still aspire to larger TVs with higher resolution."
NPD said the demand for larger screen sizes is good news as dramatic declines in average prices over the past year is limiting industry dollar volume. Consumers, meanwhile, can now get more for even less without having to sacrifice the features they want.
The average price of 40- and 42-inch flat-panels for the first nine months of 2009 (January through September) was $838, down from $1,150 the same time last year, according to NPD's retail tracking service.
The average price of 50- and 52-inch flat-panel TVs dropped from $1,941 during the first nine months of 2008 to $1,409 during the same time this year.